Ryan Braun returns to Brewers’ lineup

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Brewers right fielder Ryan Braun will require back surgery after the season, but he has returned to the starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Cardinals.

Braun has been held out of the starting lineup for the past seven games. He lined out as a pinch-hitter during Friday’s game and apparently felt well enough to return.

It has flown under the radar with the Brewers out of contention, but Braun has enjoyed an excellent season at the plate, batting .287/.359/.502 with 25 home runs, 84 RBI, and 24 stolen bases over 139 games. Surgery isn’t expected to affect his readiness for spring training last year, but a back issue is still a concern for someone who will be going into the first year of a five-year, $105 million extension. Braun turns 32 in November.

Jonathan Lucroy is also back in the Brewers’ lineup this evening. He suffered a concussion earlier this month, but has come off the bench in the past two games.